Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Freedom and Responsibility from the Parent’s Perspective

by Michele | March 24th, 2010 | Teens

Last week, one of our teen writers shared his perspective on the balance of freedom and responsibility.  I believe Jacob expressed his thoughts well and gave some insightful advice from the 13 year old viewpoint.  While I agree with his thinking, it seemed appropriate to share thoughts from the parent in that equation.

Try to establish communication.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.  As the mom of children ranging in age from 9 to almost 14, I try to find one-on-one time with them on a weekly basis.  Driving in the car is an especially good time for two reasons.  One, if you’re driving, you don’t have to make eye contact, which may make discussing embarrassing subjects easier for you child. Two, there’s no chance anyone else will hear the conversation, which again could be a relief.
    • Another thing that I find works well is not to ask yes or no questions.  Ask what was the best thing at school that day or what was the most exciting part of a sports, music, etc. lesson.  It encourages a better dialogue.

    State the rule and consequence.

      • Another good point.  At your job, you know what is expected of you and what will happen if you don’t accomplish the goal.  Being a child is a bit like having a job; let your child know what you expect and the results of not meeting expectations.  It also is good to keep the consequence in the same category as the rule, e.g. if you don’t eat dinner, you don’t get dessert.

      Don’t publicly yell, punish, or chastise your child.

        • This is a simple one.  No one likes receiving attention for doing something wrong.  Don’t do this to your child.  If it is a matter that needs to be handled immediately, take the child to a quiet spot and explain what is wrong.

        Avoid lengthy or harsh consequences.

          • If you make the consequences too harsh, your child may feel there’s no need to improve his or her behavior. I’m not suggesting that children should be disciplined minimally, but the consequence should fit the action.  It is amazing how long one or two days without a cell phone or XBOX can feel for a teen.

          Avoid battling for power.

            • Absolutely avoid power battles because you might lose sometime.  That doesn’t mean your child should “win” but don’t engage in a power battle.  If the answer is no, then stick to that answer but don’t argue or discuss it.  The answer just is no.

            Just like being a child is a job, so is parenting.  If you work diligently, you should see some great results.

            1. […] old, Jacob shared his perspective on the relationship between those two concepts.  Last week, I shared my thoughts about how freedom and responsibility relate from the perspective of a […]

            Comments on Freedom and Responsibility from the Parent’s Perspective